Fashion Designer for Wheelchair Users
For Izzy Camilleri, the journey to becoming a top fashion designer for people with disabilities began after befriending Barbara Turnbull, also of Toronto, Canada, who was a wheelchair-using quadriplegic.
"When I met Barb ten years ago, she had been injured twenty years," said 49-year-old Camilleri in a telephone interview. "By then, I had made a strong name for myself in the Canadian fashion industry. Barb asked the fashion editor of a newspaper who the editor would recommend to make a cape for her. Today, Barb is a reporter with the Toronto Star. "
Camilleri had never designed clothing for a wheelchair user or quadriplegic, and did not realize their clothing needed special alterations and features.
She said, "(Meeting Barb) was an eye-opening experience that went beyond clothing. When we met, I noticed she was static in her chair and could only move her neck and head. After our meeting, I had all these questions in my head. How did she shower? How did she put food in her mouth? How did she use the bathroom? The more I thought about her experience, the more humbling it was for me."
Camilleri went on to design and make more clothing for Turnbull before beginning to realize a "big void" existed in the marketplace for fashionable and comfortable clothing for wheelchair-using professionals and younger people. She researched what was available and learned nearly all clothing made for people with disabilities was for elderly people. She also learned 84 percent of Canadians with spinal cord injury were between ages 18 and 34.
She began IZ Adaptive in 2009, and today through an online store has male and female clients in Australia, the UK, and Europe, besides North America. The company has a nearly 100-item custom product line, including pants, shirts, jackets, coats, skirts, sweaters, and dresses.
She said, "Normally, people in a wheelchair have a hard time wearing a coat or anything below the waist. For instance, when you sit in a chair, a zipper jacket will buckle and get shorter. And with a coat, if you can't stand up to put it on, you will get this big puddle of fabric around your waist. With our coats and pants, we accommodate a seated frame. You can put them on while sitting and still have the length, but there is no bulk."
Currently, the Royal Ontario Museum has an IZ Adaptive clothing exhibit.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesMolly Ringwald at Rocklin's Quarry Park September 17thRocklin, Calif. - Golden Globe nominated actress and jazz musician Molly Ringwald descends into Rocklin's Quarry Park Amphitheater on Saturday, September 17
Roseville to Host Barbara Boxer FarewellRoseville, CA - The Placer County Democratic Party in partnership with the Nevada County Democratic Party and El Dorado County Democratic Party will be hosting a Fond Farewell
Roseville Skatetown to Host International Curling BonspielRoseville, CA - The Crush Bonspiel, which began in 2006, is back this Labor Day Weekend at Roseville's Skatetown Ice Arena after taking a one year hiatus.
County renews $10 Million Emergency Services ContractThe county board of supervisors OK'd a $10.6 million contract for fiscal year 2016-17. The contract will provide fire and emergency service for about 52,000 residents.
Roseville Flash Crime Report (8.24.16)The Roseville Police Department's latest activity and crime log digest update covering the period of August 12-21, 2016.
Sierra College Patrons Invite Public to MeetingRocklin, CA-- The Sierra College Patrons, a support group of the Sierra College Foundation, invites the public and those interested in becoming members of the organization
California Fires Update Summary (8.24.16)Over 10,000 firefighters are battling 8 large wildfires in California. Two new large fires were reported yesterday in Tulare and Alpine counties on National Forest land.
Napa's Uptown Theatre: On LocationNapa, CA- Band of Horses trekked into Napa's Uptown Theatre last night for a stop along their "Why Are You Ok Tour".
California Fires Update Summary (8.23.16)Last week firefighters across California battled nearly 250 new wildfires containing most to a small acreage. Since the beginning of the year there have been over 4,900 wildfires that have burned over 417,000 acres.
Nevada City Hosts Festive Celebration September 10-11NEVADA CITY, Calif. - The 50th Annual Nevada City Constitution Day Parade tops a full weekend of family fun Sept. 10-11 in this colorful Gold Rush town.
Humboldt Pilot Program to Track and Trace CannabisWith the state of California on the verge of approving the recreational use of marijuana in November, at least one company is ahead of the curve
Sierra College Supports Former Foster YouthRocklin, CA - As the school year begins, Sierra College is taking an extra step to ensure that one group of students gets off to a good start.
NEWS: In Case You Missed It